As I desperately try to create balance in my life with all the different projects I have going on, there are many mornings I wake up and feel like it’s all for nothing or that I’m trying too hard or not trying hard enough and I’m so alone and can’t do it all… the list goes on and sometimes on and on and on.
When all is right in my world, I wake up happy and am excited to get my day started, even if I’m tired, even if whatever else may be going on is difficult, when I’m happy and excited and positive, everything (even hard work) is easy.
When I’m fumbling mentally, I struggle with everything and convince myself somehow that what I’m doing is pointless, that my life has no purpose, start comparing myself and my work to others, and then find a million reasons to justify those ridiculous thoughts and find all the things that are wrong with my life situation instead of all the things that are right with it.
When I notice these thought patterns, I generally find that I have to jump on them and find a way to reframe then and turn them around as quickly as possible or else they may lead to more of the bad feelings and less of the good feelings and literally ruin my entire day.
The point of life, in my opinion, is not to feel bad, but to feel good. When we are feeling good, we are much more productive, kinder, more compassionate, softer, more generous, and in these ways, we also allow all the goodness to come into our lives as well.
Obviously we feel good when our lives are seemingly moving forward, when goals are accomplished, when money is flowing in, when accolades for our work (small or large) are being showered on us, when we feel we have something to “show” for all of our hard work, our incentive to do more is much higher. It’s easy to be happy when we’re in that kind of flow state. But that’s not always the case in life. In fact, it’s probably mostly NOT the case in life, and those moments are fleeting. It’s about keeping a high energy state and those good feelings regardless of what’s happening in our lives, but that’s the trickiest part, isn’t it?
I sat for a moment and thought about how I get out of this situation and the steps that I go through to get back on track. I thought maybe, if they work for me, they can work for you too 😉
How-to Turn Problem Thinking into Solution Thinking…
And get the juices flowing again.
1. Note the problem. Break it down from thinking about what you DON’T HAVE to what you WANT TO HAVE instead. Decide it’s not a problem, but a new GOAL you want to achieve (it can be small or large, goals can be simply changing a bad habit into a good one or writing a book, the spectrum is vast and varied and only as complicated as you make it).
-Choose to be solution-oriented about turning a situation from negative to positive as quickly as you can.
(Example: I woke up the other morning worrying about what I wasn’t getting done. That worry quickly turned to a wildly exaggerated fear about LITERALLY EVERYTHING that wasn’t progressing as fast as I thought it should be. The fear then turned to anger that I was diligently working on projects without seeing any results… do you see the spiral? It took me a minute to catch onto it… but when I finally did, I yelled at myself: MAEGAN! EVERYTHING IS WORKING OUT EXACTLY HOW IT SHOULD BE. Have a little patience. Breathe. Relax. (but that isn’t enough) Then I decidedly forced myself to think of everything I was grateful for in that moment and within a few minutes my fear and anger softened and I was instead thinking about how lucky I was to live such an amazing life. Once I was in a happier place in my mind, it was easy to see my negative thinking about all the stuff that “wasn’t” and turn it into all the stuff that “was”.
This work isn’t easy, and it may sound stupid, but it’s essential for keeping your mind in check!)
2. Grab a pen and paper (or a spiral notebook you use to journal in) and write down three reason WHY you want to achieve this goal or solve this problem.
– The WHY behind a goal is ESSENTIAL. The WHY is the thing that motivates you to move forward with it. It’s the passion behind the goal, the inspiration that drives you to complete it.
3. Write down the baby steps it will take to either get closer to your goal or to complete it. It’s not necessary to put a time frame or limit on it UNLESS deadlines motivate you into action.
4. Create an action PLAN that will get you to focus on one of those steps each day. The steps may be small and quick and easy and may only take a few minutes. Some steps may take a few hours, a few days, a few weeks, etc.
* This is an important step because sometimes when we want to achieve something, it seems WAY too big and then we feel it’s impossible, we get overwhelmed and then we end up doing nothing – and then subsequently feel shitty about ourselves for all the NOT doing. The steps -and chipping away just a little bit each day- not only build confidence, they inspire you to do more to work toward your goal, breaking them down makes is far easier to see the end result as a POSSIBILITY!
5. Think about one MENTAL thing you can do each day to move you toward your goal.
This can be anywhere from 5 minutes to ten minutes to 20 minutes, but commit to doing it every single day. It doesn’t have to be at the same time every day, unless you’d like it to be, but set an alarm on your phone to remind you to do it.
Even if it doesn’t FEEL like this is adding to your end result or goal, it is adding to your overall mental space, which if is focused in the right direction, will aid in leading you to your goal in ways you’re not consciously aware of.
Here are a few ideas…
* When you wake up each morning, before you get out of bed, think of 1-3 things you’re grateful. It can be your pets 🙂 or your warm bed, or your pretty curtains, or the way the sun is shining through them, or how lucky you feel to wake up in such a beautiful room or cozy bed. Write it down on a little pad with a pen on your nightstand and reflect on it at the end of the week.
* Meditate. Choose a guided transcendental meditation like I do, or find one on youtube you like, or just sit and be still watching your thoughts just pass through your mind and allowing them to continue on without giving them any attention or focus.
* Go outside and take a walk. I like to keep a fast pace because I use it as a workout as well (30-40mins each day) but a slow and intentional walk is just as nice for your mind. Sometimes when a walk feels like too much pressure (and believe me, some days it does) I allow for a slow and intentional walk, because just getting out there is the point.
* Go outside, find a beautiful place to sit for five to ten minutes and just focus on nature. Look at the natural beauty that surrounds you. Marvel at the way nature just does what it does without question.
I like to talk to the trees (mentally mostly, but sometimes right out loud, lol), and then suddenly I feel their energy within me and through me. Their leaves begin bustling right when I focus my energy on them and it makes me smile like we are truly connected… I know it may sound crazy, but it fills me with an abundance of gratitude almost immediately, and then I thank them and the universe for this magical life.
No matter how horrible you may feel inside (which is often due to thoughts around a part of life you feel you may be failing at or is failing you), when you take a moment to notice the beauty around you, a powerful thing happens; you stop thinking about your own problems and you fill up with gratitude without even trying simply by noticing the beauty around you. Try it 😉
* Stretch or do yoga before bed. Create a nighttime ritual to help you sleep better and wake up well rested.
How you do anything is how you do everything. Your habits determine your way in life, your character and your successes or perceived failures. There is no such thing as failing. There is only the next challenge to succeeding.
Happy Monday Lovecats!
* Find all my Monday Motivation posts here